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September 27, 2018

M&S banks on Holly Willoughby to bring in the next generation of shoppers

New brand ambassador Holly Willoughby alone cannot revive M&S. She does, however, provide the high street stalwart with its greatest opportunity to pull in the younger clothing shoppers that it so desperately needs. 

By GlobalData Retail

New brand ambassador Holly Willoughby alone cannot revive M&S. She does, however, provide the high street stalwart with its greatest opportunity to pull in the younger clothing shoppers that it so desperately needs.

M&S has previously made the mistake of targeting too young a shopper, for example with its Alexa Chung collaboration in 2016, however TV presenter Holly Willoughby’s 20-piece autumnal fashion edit showcases the retailer’s understanding that it is female shoppers in their thirties and forties that hold the key for future success.

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While 30.4% of female non-M&S womenswear shoppers agree that celebrities inspire their clothing choices, this rises to 44.2% for under 45s, indicating the retailer’s celebrity-fronted campaign will boost its appeal. Indeed the retailer’s Instagram post announcing ‘Holly’s Must-Haves’ has garnered over 34,500 likes, while regular M&S posts usually achieve under 5,000 likes. Holly Willoughby is an apt partner for M&S, giving the retailer a sense of relevance it has been missing, while her style is fashionable yet attainable.

Additional ranges edited by Holly Willoughby are due in October – helping M&S to drive full price sales of seasonal lines such as partywear ahead of Christmas – and also next year. While there is potential longevity for the partnership, M&S should bring in other faces to support the Must-Haves campaign. This is made easier given that Holly Willoughby is merely endorsing a range rather than being involved in the design process. The likes of Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman, the latter of which M&S has collaborated with before on a beauty range, are suitable ambassadors – and will help M&S target a slightly older female demographic than Holly does.